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‘We have a process in place, let’s use it’

Quinlan calls for more decisiveness, accountability in bid for council



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While Quinlan appreciates the energy and enthusiasm of some individual councilors on various issues, he suggests that another example of council’s collective inability to be decisive is staff housing. While he likes the concepts presented for the Rainbow Lands between Alpine and Emerald, he wonders about the timing.

"(Council) hasn’t even dealt with the issues that we have left over from the last election, like affordable housing," he said.

"Affordable housing needed to be addressed immediately by council, not by trying to ram it down (municipal) staff’s throats two months before an election."

Quinlan says his first priority on council would be to work on staff housing initiatives that help Whistler to retain qualified workers.

His next priority is to represent the local business community, which he feels has been under-represented in the last council.

"The municipality has to accept responsibility here because we are a resort municipality. We have to provide an incentive and reason to come here for guests, we can’t keep relying on the weather," he said. "Whistler needs to try harder and harder, we’ve been taking tourism for granted."

Making Whistler successful means delivering new amenities to the resort, which is why Quinlan is in favour of a Paralympic arena and multi-use facility on Lot 1/Lot 9. If the arena is passed up, he’d like to see the land developed into another amenity to support tourism.

Quinlan believes that Whistler will also need a strong voice in Victoria, although he cautions that the town shouldn’t count on outside help, such as "financial tools" that were promised as part of the Olympics, to solve its problems.

Another of Quinlan’s priorities is to take a more proactive role in managing the delivery of the Olympics, while keeping the community up to date on discussions. "It’s the responsibility of councillors to be aware of bigger problems and possibilities, and that goes back to decisions on the arena and affordable housing."

Quinlan has been considering running for council for more than six months, but only made up his mind after Monday’s meeting. He does not have an official campaign launch set and his website is a work in progress, but he plans to have his platform and campaign details finalized within a few weeks.

Quinlan adds that his most supportive demographic will be voters aged 30 to 50, but he also wants to represent the younger demographic that makes up his staff at Behind the Grind.

"Basically I want to represent anyone who wants to make Whistler their home. People who stick around, who start businesses and buy into staff housing, make a huge contribution to this town.